HUD Responds to our Letter About the Equality Act & Shelters
March 21, 2021
We are pleased to announce that we received a reply from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to our letter expressing our concerns about the safety, privacy, and dignity of women housed in shelters with men claiming female identity. Specifically, we asked that in their policy review, mandated by President Biden’s executive order on combating discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, that they mandate sex-segregated shelters in their revised rules. We urged this citing statistics indicating that better than 85% of males claiming female identity retain their male genitalia, that a majority retain their sexual interest in women, and describing harms to women that have already occurred in shelters.
We’re very grateful that HUD responded; however, they did not directly address our concerns. In sum, the letter says, we’re concerned with everyone’s safety and privacy; we’re following the Equal Access in Accordance with Gender Identity Final Rule (an Obama-era rule change that allowed persons to be sheltered according to their “gender identity” without “being subjected to intrusive questioning”); and that all these other women’s and anti-violence (captured!) organizations agree with them (National Consensus Statement of Anti-Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Organizations in Support of Full and Equal Access for the Transgender Community.)
It’s discouraging that all these groups have thrown women under the bus and given HUD cover. We need to write our own statement; we have at least as many groups supportive of sex-segregation in places like shelters.
However, it is encouraging that HUD responded. As a knowledgeable insider said, it’s “somewhat heartening” that they wrote a “substantive” response. “It’s like someone there knows these concerns are legit.”
When HUD (and other federal agencies) post their proposed policy changes at the end of the 100 days mandated by the executive order, we will post a substantive public comment. Federal agencies are required to respond to such comments before issuing their final policies.
Spread the Word with Our Downloadable Brochures!
March 9, 2021
We’ve all been working hard contacting our Senators and it’s a frustrating endeavor. I’ve heard from many women who are alternately discouraged and infuriated with the responses they’re getting. Our Democratic lawmakers seem oblivious to our objections, responding instead to concerns we’ve never raised such as “states’ rights” and “religious freedoms.”
Nevertheless, I do know that the Women’s Human Rights Campaign (WHRC USA) is tenaciously pursuing every possibility in the Senate. Meantime, I thought we could help out on another front: Educating those in our community that we know are questioning
the trans agenda, yet feel inadequately informed. So, I’m creating a series of brochures, beginning with one on Title IX, that summarizes much of the information on this site in a succinct trifold flyer.
Download, print, and hand out to everyone you can think of, and leave everywhere you can – such as coffee shops, bookstores, churches, and community groups. Heck, spend a few hours on the weekend handing them out on a street corner! Whatever seems doable for you.
Thanks for all you do.
PS Don’t forget to select “duplex” and “flip on short edge” for the brochure to print correctly.
Urge Your Senator to Call for Revision or Vote No on the Equality Act!
February 25, 2021
The House passed the Equality Act today, as we knew was likely.
The Senate vote, however, will be much closer and here’s where we can really make a difference.
I urge you to email or call your Senator ASAP!
The Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) has a great form for easily emailing your Senator. Using your zip code, the form automatically sends the email to your Senator.
You can use the WoLF form letter, or customize by typing or pasting in your own words. You can also use any part, or all, of the text from letters we have posted on our site.
If you have time, I urge you to instead call your Senator’s office, as calls have greater impact than emails. (Non-customized emails have the least impact.) Find your Senator and his or her phone number at senate.gov.
Call whether or not your Senator is a Democrat or Republican. The Hill recently reported that the Democrats are using big business to pressure Republicans to vote “yes.”
Here are some phone call talking points (some provided by a sympathetic Democrat insider):
- I am calling to voice my opposition to the Equality Act as currently written.
- There are serious problems here that have not been sufficiently discussed or debated.
- It is absolutely possible to prevent discrimination against transgender-identified individuals without harming women’s rights.
- The current text of the Equality Act does not strike this careful balance, but rather ends sex-based protections for women entirely.
- Biological sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity are three different things.
- This bill puts them all in the category “sex.”
- To protect everyone, the bill needs to be amended to create new protected categories for sexual orientation, and those who do not conform to sex stereotypes, such as butch lesbians, effeminate gay men, and those claiming trans identity.
- I urge you to share these concerns with Senator Merkley and work to amend the Equality Act.
- I urge you also to share these concerns with Senator Schumer and request that he not to bring the Equality Act up for a vote until these concerns are sufficiently addressed.
Let’s get these calls and emails rolling – there is no time to lose! And share this post with everyone you know who cares about women and girls.
Equality Act to be Introduced & Voted on in the House Next Week!
February 17, 2021
The Equality Act is scheduled to be introduced and voted on in the House NEXT WEEK! They are really moving fast on this one, so we need to get going on the calls and letters ASAP.
We have a new letter up, this one to Rep David Cicilline, who introduced the Equality Act in 2019 and will do so again next week. The inside dope is that he does not care about women’s issues and will not be moved. Therefore, we don’t want to waste a lot of energy on him, yet it’s important to get our objections on the record.
So get your letter out to his office, but save most of your precious time and energy for lobbying your own Representative. Take a little time also, if you can, to let Speaker Pelosi know where you stand as well.
New Ed Secretary Says Boys Identifying as Girls Can Compete in Female Sport
February 4, 2021
Miguel Cardona, President Biden’s nominee for education secretary was confirmed by the Senate yesterday. Questioned about the issue of boys identifying as girls competing in female sport, Cardona said, “I think it is important for all students, including those that are transgender, [to be] afforded all of the opportunities they have.”
Afforded opportunities previously the prerogative of girls, that is! Time for a letter to Secretary Cardona. We have a sample ready for you here (scroll down).
Also new today, a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, urging revision of the Equality Act (scroll down at link). Get crackin’!
Switching Gears: Equality Act to be Introduced Soon!
January 30, 2021
Looks like it’s on, my friends! Journalist Chris Johnson of the the Washington Blade tweeted that the Equality Act may be introduced in the House of Representatives around February 22nd and voted on as soon as early March!
So time to switch from those letters to agency heads about the Executive Order and instead focus on lobbying our Representatives. We have great tips for that on our Lobbying 101 page.
We’ll also have sample letters up by Monday, February 2nd.
Stay tuned! We have lots of work ahead of us, but I am confident we can get this done!
Pushing Back on the Executive Order
Undermining Sex Based Rights
January 22, 2021
Welcome to our website dedicated to protecting sex-based rights for women and girls! (Please be patient as we finish our Issues pages, and work on “responsiveness,” so it will look better on mobile devices.)
We’ve got a busy year ahead of us, as President Biden has lost no time in issuing an executive order that directly threatens our sex based rights. Specifically, the order directs all federal agencies to:
< Review all existing policies, guidances, and regulations that were promulgated or are administered by the agency under Title VII (the employment amendment of the 1964 Civil Rights Act)
< Consider whether to revise suspend, or rescind such agency actions, or promulgate new actions, as necessary to implement statutes that prohibit sex discrimination and the policy set forth in section 1 of this order.
The policy in section one refers to the Bostock v Clayton County (2020) Supreme Court decision which involved employment discrimination. However, the EO claims that decision also applies to Title IX of the Education amendments to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The Bostock decision reinterpreted sex discrimination banned by Title VII to include sexual orientation and “gender identity.”
Therein lies the problem. The EO is directing all federal agencies to review their regulations and policies on sex discrimination using a definition of sex that includes gender identity and sexual orientation – categories that are analytically and conceptually distinct – and that were not specified in the original law. Further, the EO extends the Bostock decision, which pertained to employment, to include Title IX (education and sport).
As damaging as this is to sex-based rights for women and girls, it’s not time to panic – though it is time to take action! First of all, President Biden has issued this order because the Democrats don’t have the votes to pass the Equality Act. That in itself is great news!
Second, EOs do not carry the same weight as statutes; i.e. legislation passed by the Congress. They can be overturned with the stroke of a pen by the next president, overturned by Congressional legislation, and are more easily challenged in court than are statutes.
Finally, the order is for a review to be conducted in the next 100 days. That gives us time to lobby these federal agencies as they review their policies.
There are, broadly, two schools of thought as to how women should respond to the EO. One calls for lobbying the President to rescind the EO and Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) is leading the charge on that.
The second is more pragmatic and argues that the EO will not be rescinded; that the trans lobby is too well-funded and powerful, and that the Democrats want to give them something because they cannot deliver the Equality Act. Therefore, this line of thinking goes, the better course of action is to seize this opportunity to lobby agency heads to protect sex-based rights for women and girls.
If you’ve been following this issue, you know that even before President Biden’s executive order, men claiming female identity have been housed in women’s prisons and shelters, allowed access to women’s restrooms and locker rooms, and permitted to compete in women’s sport. This is not new, but the requirement for agencies to review their policies is new.
As one activist advises:
This is well-funded and organized. But the Senate and the House hang by a thread. Let every Democrat know, politely, firmly, and respectfully, that they need to protect the rights of women and girls…
Make yourself heard. Be smart. Be respectful of people’s needs, including the needs of the Agency heads to have evidence to reject, even in the smallest way, TRA’s insistence that males are females…
To that end, we are beginning a project of writing sample letters you can use to lobby agencies. We begin today with the Bureau of Prisons. Stay tuned for more!